Author: Mark Twain
Publisher: Oxford World Classics
Publication Date: 2008 (1889)
Source: Birthday Gift
When A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court was published in 1889, Mark Twain was undergoing a series of personal and professional crises. In his Introduction, M. Thomas Inge shows how what began as a literary burlesque of British chivalry and culture developed to tragedy and into a novel that remains a major literary and cultural text for generations of new readers.
This edition reproduces a number of the original drawings by Dan Beard, of whom Twain said "He not only illustrates the text but he illustrates my thoughts."
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is a story I had some familiarity with because of the musical. However, I had never gotten around to reading the original book until now. It started strongly with plenty of humour amid the fantastical plot; however, I felt the story got a little too bogged down in politics in the second half, losing much of the earlier magic and fun. In any case it was a piece both entertaining and providing food for thought, so I am giving it four stars.